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Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2020
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Description
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • "How did our democracy go wrong? This extraordinary document ... is Applebaum's answer." —Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny
The Pulitzer Prize–winning historian explains, with electrifying clarity, why elites in democracies around the world are turning toward nationalism and authoritarianism.

From the United States and Britain to continental Europe and beyond, liberal democracy is under siege, while authoritarianism is on the rise. In Twilight of Democracy, Anne Applebaum, an award-winning historian of Soviet atrocities who was one of the first American journalists to raise an alarm about antidemocratic trends in the West, explains the lure of nationalism and autocracy. In this captivating essay, she contends that political systems with radically simple beliefs are inherently appealing, especially when they benefit the loyal to the exclusion of everyone else. Elegantly written and urgently argued, Twilight of Democracy is a brilliant dissection of a world-shaking shift and a stirring glimpse of the road back to democratic values.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/21/2020
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780385545815
ASIN:
B07ZN49QQ8
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Anne Applebaum. (2020). Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Anne Applebaum. 2020. Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Anne Applebaum, Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2020.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Anne Applebaum. Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2020.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: ANNE APPLEBAUM’s 2018 Atlantic article “A Warning from Europe” inspired this book and was a finalist for a National Magazine Award. After seventeen years as a columnist at The Washington Post, Applebaum became a staff writer at The Atlantic in 2020. She is the author of three critically acclaimed and award-winning histories of the Soviet Union: Red Famine, Iron Curtain, and Gulag, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
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fullDescription
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • "How did our democracy go wrong? This extraordinary document ... is Applebaum's answer." —Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny
The Pulitzer Prize–winning historian explains, with electrifying clarity, why elites in democracies around the world are turning toward nationalism and authoritarianism.

From the United States and Britain to continental Europe and beyond, liberal democracy is under siege, while authoritarianism is on the rise. In Twilight of Democracy, Anne Applebaum, an award-winning historian of Soviet atrocities who was one of the first American journalists to raise an alarm about antidemocratic trends in the West, explains the lure of nationalism and autocracy. In this captivating essay, she contends that political systems with radically simple beliefs are inherently appealing, especially when they benefit the loyal to the exclusion of everyone else. Elegantly written and urgently argued, Twilight of Democracy is a brilliant dissection of a world-shaking shift and a stirring glimpse of the road back to democratic values.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from May 15, 2020
        Equal parts memoir, reportage, and history, this sobering account of the roots and forms of today's authoritarianism, by one of its most accomplished observers, is meant as a warning to everyone. Known for her historically grounded commentary and such well-received histories as the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag (2003), Atlantic staff writer Applebaum, a reflective, deep-thinking conservative, explores the "restorative nostalgia" and "authoritarian predisposition" of the far right in the U.S. and Europe. Her motivation in writing is a fear of the possible "fall of liberal democracy." Sadly, she writes, "given the right conditions, any society can turn against democracy. Indeed, if history is anything to go by, all of our societies eventually will." Well-acquainted with many of the figures she discusses, Applebaum analyzes the forces that have caused so many of them to turn ugly, revanchist, and unreasoning. She takes her examples mostly from Europe--Hungary, Poland, Spain, and Britain in particular--but also from Trump's America. Sometimes too discursive, sometimes overlong (as on Laura Ingraham), the book is nevertheless critically important for its muscular, oppositionist attack on the new right from within conservative ranks--and for the well-documented warning it embodies. The author's views are especially welcome because she is a deliberate thinker and astute observer rather than just the latest pundit or politico. In the spirit of Julien Benda, Hannah Arendt, and Theodor Adorno, Applebaum seeks to understand what makes the new right "more Bolshevik than Burkean." Needless to say, any attack that places Viktor Orbán, Boris Johnson, and Donald Trump in the company of Lenin and Stalin is worthy of close attention. The author is highly instructive on what is happening in the increasingly grim realm of the far right: a hardening of bitterness and unreasoning vengefulness and a resulting shift of the spectrum that puts a growing number of conservatives like Applebaum in the center. A knowledgeable, rational, necessarily dark take on dark realities.

        COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 15, 2020
        Responsible conservatism has drifted into bigotry, antidemocratic ideology, and revenge psychology, argues this deeply personal analysis of the populist right. Historian and journalist Applebaum (Red Famine) calls out erstwhile center-right friends and colleagues who once supported democracy, meritocracy, free markets, and internationalism for accommodating xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and illiberal one-party rule. Focusing on her adopted homeland of Poland, Applebaum decries former allies who now support the ruling right-wing Law and Justice Party’s undermining of the independent judiciary and media. She also faults Tory acquaintances in Britain for backing Brexit, and Fox News pundit Laura Ingraham for abandoning Reaganite conservatism for “apocalyptic pessimism.” Applebaum paints contemporary right-wing politics as a psychosis of “resentment, envy, and... the belief that the ‘system’ is unfair—not just to the country, but to you,” and of psychic anxiety about “clashing voices and different opinions.” Her armchair psychologizing—as when she suggests that the “loud advocacy” of Ingraham and other Trump boosters may help “to cover up the deep doubt and even shame they feel about their support for Trump”—sometimes feels too glib and dismissive of the divisive issues that energize populist movements. Still, this anguished and forceful jeremiad crystallizes right-of-center dismay at the betrayal of the conservative tradition.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from July 1, 2020

        With this latest work, renowned historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Applebaum (Gulag; Iron Curtain) issues a clarion call about the current state of democracies. She sees threats that can transform democracy into authoritarianism--and shows how they emerge over time. While the work primarily focuses on Eastern Europe, there are echoes of current situations in Great Britain and the United States. The underlying root of the problem is a perceived mistrust in government and the amplification of mistrust. Enablers of mistrust rely on conspiracy theories (such as birtherism) to create audience buy-in, she maintains, as simplistic arguments outweigh complexity. Mistrust is also directed at minority populations: the othering effect. Taking advantage of a fractured media structure, these opinions creep into political dialog. Then, promising an elixir to solve these problems, strongmen can take over with empty solutions and promises. This work is personal for Applebaum because Poland, her adopted home, has turned into a single party authoritarian state following this pattern. She also touches on the history of authoritarianism in Hungary and Spain, and how leaders have used nostalgia and social media to sway beliefs. VERDICT Highly recommended; the currency of this work is both engrossing and petrifying.--Jacob Sherman, John Peace Lib., Univ. of Texas at San Antonio

        Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 1, 2020

        The Pulitzer Prize-winning Applebaum explains today's surge of strongmen worldwide by arguing that humans are surprisingly attracted to authoritarianism and the corollary one-party rule. And it's not about ideology or simple meanness: Humans are practical and primarily worried about what's up close--their families, their houses, and their careers.

        Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER • "How did our democracy go wrong? This extraordinary document ... is Applebaum's answer." —Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny
The Pulitzer Prize–winning historian explains, with electrifying clarity, why elites in democracies around the world are turning toward nationalism and authoritarianism.

From the United States and Britain to continental Europe and beyond, liberal democracy is under siege, while authoritarianism is on the rise. In Twilight of Democracy, Anne Applebaum, an award-winning historian of Soviet atrocities who was one of the first American journalists to raise an alarm about antidemocratic trends in the West, explains the lure of nationalism and autocracy. In this captivating essay, she contends that political systems with radically simple beliefs are inherently appealing, especially when they benefit the loyal to the exclusion of everyone else. Elegantly written and urgently argued,...
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